President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said the effect of climate change on Lake Chad has created more economic challenges, with the shrinking lake rendering many jobless, and leaving them with little or no options for survival, except crime.
President Buhari said this at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while receiving Letter of Credence of the High Commissioner of Australia to Nigeria, Mrs Claire Ireland.
In a release issued today by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu, President Buhari said that climate change was “steadily” taking a toll on income of families as farm lands got narrowed with desert encroachments, while the vagaries of the weather posed greater risks for the future.
The president, who said the global attention on taming the effects of climate change was important, added that population had been on the increase in Nigeria, and lands for investment and farming had turned more competitive.
“Before now 10 to 15 members of a family could own a land, but the desert encroachment and growth in population has created a situation where you can have 200 people struggling over a family land,” he said.
Buhari said the country was preparing for more challenges from desert encroachment.
The High Commissioner, in her remarks, said Australia had maintained consistent economic growth for 29 years, scoring a record of development indicators that many countries had not been able to attain.
Mrs Ireland said the growth had been largely driven by investments and diversification in the mining sector, assuring the President that stronger partnerships will be explored for Nigeria’s potentials in minerals, education and agriculture.
President Buhari, who also received Letter of Credence of the Ambassador of Sweden, Mr Carl Michael, said Nigeria remained grateful for the strong partnership it had enjoyed over the years. He urged the diplomat to use his stay to improve trade relations.
The Swedish ambassador, who assured the president that he would work hard to deepen political and economic relations, said that there were many opportunities for cooperation, including trade and investments.
Receiving the Letter of Credence of the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to Nigeria, Mr Maxwell Ranga, President Buhari said Nigeria had enjoyed long years of cooperation with Zimbabwe. He added that the country had also been playing a major role in Africa.
Ranga said Zimbabwe appreciated Nigeria’s support during the country’s struggle for independence.
“I have been tasked by my President, His Excellency, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to take this relationship to greater heights. My mandate is to improve trade and economic relations. We are facing sanctions and we implore your support for our country,” he said.